TDGH - September 5
This Day in Georgia
Ed Jackson and Charles Pou
The University of Georgia
this day did not exist in Georgia. See Sept.
3 entry for the reason.
1774 Of the thirteen
American colonies, only Georgia was not represented at the meeting
of the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
the meeting adopted a declaration which included a boycott all
politician, lawyer, writer, and editor Tom Watson was born near
Thomson, Georgia. Attending Mercer University for two years, he
read law and was admitted to the bar in 1875.
In 1882, Watson
was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. Resigning
after a year, he returned to the practice of law. In 1890, based
on his support of the Farmers' Alliance, he was elected to Congress,
where he continued trying to work on behalf of distressed farmers.
His main accomplishment in Congress was helping to launch a trial
program in rural free delivery of mail. In 1891, Watson joined
the Populist Party and launched publication of an an Atlanta weekly,
the People's Party Paper. In his 1892 reelection campaign,
Watson urged both white and black farmers to unite behind him.
Losing that bid, he ran as the Populist Party's 1896 vice presidential
candidate. After losing that election, Watson temporarily retired
from politics, returning to the practice of law and taking up
a new avocation--writing novels, histories, and biographies.
also again became an editor, establishing Watson's Jeffersonian
Magazine in 1907. In 1904 and 1908, he agreed to run as the
Populist candidate for president under the People's Party banner.
By the early 1900s, however, the Populist movement was waning and Watson's presidential run
only attracted marginal voter interest. Despite his earlier efforts
to court black voters, Watson racial views had evolved. Now, he openly called
for black disfranchisement and even expressed support for lynching.
Catholics and Jews also received his disdain. In 1920, Watson
mounted one last campaign – this time a successful
race for the U.S. Senate on a platform to keep the U.S. out of
the League of Nations. Two years later, Watson died leaving a complex
legacy of populist reformer on one hand and bitter racist plagued
by deep emotional problems on the other.
1916 Famous African-American
author Frank Yerby was born in Augusta, Georgia. Noted for his
popular works of historical fiction, Yerby moved to Spain in 1955
because of the racial discrimination he saw in the U.S. He died
in Madrid on Nov. 29, 1991.
Georgians were wounded in European fighting as General George
Patton's Third Army approached the French-German border.
1944 W.F. Barker,
a field representative of the CIO, was arrested for trying to
organize workers at a Newnan cotton mill. The arrest was a deliberate
attempt on his part to challenge a Newnan ordinance levying a $5000 annual
fee on union organizers.
1956 The first
units of the Heart of Atlanta Motel opened. The 120-room complex
covered a square block and was advertised as the finest motor
hotel between New York and Miami.
In less than a decade, the motel
was at the heart of a major court challenge to the constitutionality
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Refusal of the motel to accept
black customers led federal prosecutors to sue that the motel
was violating provisions of the 1964 statute. In the case of Heart of Atlanta
Motel v. U.S., decided in December 1964, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress's
power to regulate interstate commerce includes the power to prohibit
segregation in places of public accommodation if those places
affect the flow of goods and people from one state to another.
1975 Nine years
after the Braves began playing in Atlanta, pitcher Phil Niekro was recognized in pre-game ceremonies as the last member of the
premier 1966 Atlanta Braves still active on the team.
2012 Atlanta-born singer and songwriter Joe South died at age 72 of a heart attack at his home in Buford, Ga. Born on Feb. 28, 1940, as Joseph Souter, he adopted his stage name in the 1960s. As a singer, he is best known for such hits in the 1960s and '70s as "Games People Play" (for which he won two Grammys) and "Walk A Mile in My Shoes." But he wrote a number of songs that other performers recorded, such as "Down in the Boondocks" and "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden." Among the major recording artists who performed his songs were Lynn Anderson, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Billy Joe Royal, and Simon and Garfunkel. Later in his career, South was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Georgia cities and towns incorporated by
acts approved on Sept. 5:
1883 Bremen (Haralson
County) and Ward (Randolph County)
In Their Own Words on This Day. . .
1767 In trying
to convince Samuel Lloyd to be Georgia's agent in England, Savannah
merchant James Habersham gave a glimpse of how Georgia's colonial
". . . [T]he Legislature here consists
of the Governor, Council & Assembly, who must respectively
concur in every act of legislation, having some resemblance to
the Legislature of Great Britain of King, Lords & Commons
– The Council are appointed by the Crown, and act in two capacities
namely, as a council of state to the Governor and as an Upper
House in General Assembly – The Assembly (by which you will
understand, I mean throughout this letter, the house of Representatives)
are chosen by the Majority of the Freeholders, and claiming the
sole right of granting Money, as the Commons of Great Britain
do, they also claim a right of nominating an Agent, because they
say, they must provide for his Salary and for all other Expences
in transacting the Provincial Business – The provincial Agent
has hitherto been Annually appointed, and consequently but for
one year, by an Ordinance, in which the Council concur, and the
Governor assents to it, and therein a Committee of twelve persons
are named and appointed to correspond with him, namely five of
the Council & Seven of the Assembly; and this I suppose to
be the only legal way of constituting an Agent. . . ."
Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical
Society, Vol. VI, The Letters of the Hon. James Habersham,
1756-1775 (Savannah, Georgia Historical Society, 1904), p.
merchant Samuel P. Richards recorded in his diary:
"Nothing of much interest has occurred
this week. There are rumors of Yankee raids upon Atlanta and
part of our citizens comprising the 'Fire Battalion' have been
called into camp at the City Hall. Col. Lee wants our Company
to join this battalion, but we don't incline to do so, much.
Lieut. Gen. Pemberton, who commanded at Vicksburg when it was
surrendered, is now the guest of Bro. [Sidney] Root, awaiting
the decision of a court of Inquiry in regard to that matter.
Bro. Root thinks his case will be sustained by the court. By
surrendering as he did on the fourth of July (which I wondered
at his doing), he obtained terms that he could not have had if
they had held out several days longer which they could not have
done. The Yankees very much wished to get in on the 'glorious
fourth,' and so granted more favorable terms to accomplish that
Source: Franklin M. Garrett, Atlanta and
Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events (Athens: University
of Georgia Press, 1969 reprint of original 1954 volume), p. 559.
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
1864 From Atlanta,
Col. Fredrick Winkler of the 26th Wisconsin Infantry wrote his
wife about a variety of matters, including preliminary news about
the Battle of Jonesboro:
"I thought likely, at the very moment
I should commence to write, orders to move would come, and so
they did. We are now fixing up B camp. We expected that our brigade
was all to return to Turner's Ferry, but we have found that we
are all to come here; the balance of the troops were to come
down in the afternoon and, as the Major could attend to them,
I did not go back but concluded to find quarters for the night
in the city. After some troubles I found a nice looking house,
where they gave me some supper and we talked a while. Such a
nice room as they gave me it is the first time I have been in
one since I left home in April, but, when I went to bed, I found
feathers too soft for me; I think I sleep better on a little
bunk in a tent. We have reliable information now that there has
been severe fighting in the neighborhood of Jonesborough, and
it would seem that such a whipping the rebels never got before.
If reports are true, our prisoners count by thousands, and the
rebel dead and wounded that remain on the field are said to exceed
all precedent. They burned two trains, consisting of eighty cars,
loaded with arms and ammunition the night before we took the
city. There was a good deal of powder and many filled shells
on the trains which exploded and were thrown all over the neighborhood;
besides a large number of small arms, there were also two batteries
of twelve-pounders I exhumed from the ruins. We also found five
very large siege guns in the city, which had only been brought
up from Augusta two days before, and a number of smaller ones
around in the city, all spiked. Their evacuation was certainly
very precipitate. I think the military prospect is brightening
and Mr. Lincoln will be re-elected, but, even if McClellan should
be chosen, unless he repudiates every act and word of his past
life, his course cannot be essentially different. It is quite
remarkable how diametrically opposed McClellan's course has been
to that advocated by the present peace faction of the Democratic
party. They clamored a good deal about arbitrary arrests; he
arrested the whole Maryland Legislature, when deliberating the
good of the State. I believe they are opposed to a draft – to
being drafted at least; he urged a draft upon the Secretary of
War three years ago. They want peace at any terms; he insists
upon submission on the part of the South to federal authority.
I do not think General Howard was ever seriously thought of as
a Democratic candidate. He is a strong anti-slavery man and a
staunch supporter of the administration. The fortifications around
Atlanta was indeed very extensive; to surround them completely,
would have taken an immense army, and the way to get them out
was doubtless the one finally adopted -- to move upon its communications.
This left two courses open to Hood, to retreat at once towards
Augusta, or to meet General Sherman and stake the fate of the
city, and perhaps his army, upon the result of a battle. He followed
his pugnacious instincts and was badly beaten. It was doubtless
Johnston's intention not to risk a battle, but to abandon the
city and save his army. Hood has fought four battles, one north,
one east, and one west, and finally one south of the city, and
raided on our railroad. He gained the satisfactory result of
holding the city long enough to see a great portion of it devastated
and then left it, his army broken, reduced and demoralized, and
valuable stores of munitions of war left a prey to the flames.
We are encamped some ways out of the city, should think a mile
or two, and the woods are so wild no one would suspect a city
near. It is reported that Rousseau gave the raiding Wheeler a
very severe threshing near Talona and took a big number of forces
from him. I hope he did, and trust that the prisoners taken will
be retaliated upon for rebel outrages upon our negro troops.
When we take those very parties prisoners who committed those
outrages, it is certainly just to inflict the punishment due
them for the protection of those poor negroes who have gone into
our army. I have not been in the city since the first day I came
down. One curious thing is the bomb proofs we find in almost
every yard; they are holes like cellars sunk into the ground,
with a narrow entrance covered by an enormous heap of earth,
with a narrow pipe or chimney through it for a ventilator. Many
families sleep in these bomb proofs for weeks and pass the greater
part of their days in them too. By far the greater portion of
the inhabitants have left. That portion of the city nearest our
lines is nearly demolished. We received an order from General
Sherman last night, stating that the army had accomplished its
undertaking in the complete reduction of Atlanta and would occupy
the city and neighborhood until another campaign should be planned
in concert with the other grand armies of the United States;
then adds, the General in Chief will give notice when the movement
will begin, and will establish headquarters in Atlanta and afford
the army an opportunity to have a full month's rest with every
chance to organize, receive pay, replenish clothing and prepare
for a fine winter's campaign. Thus the General in Chief tells
us of his plans for the future; it is well that he does, it will
keep many from cherishing idle, demoralizing dreams of rest when
there is work ahead. I expected another campaign this year. It
is right that there should be one. The rebel army in its present
demoralized state ought to be followed up, and the next three
months certainly offer very good campaigning weather. I am ready
for my part. If I could start out with four hundred muskets,
as I did four months ago, it would be more gratifying. Three
officers and thirty-two men killed, four officers and one hundred
and fifty-three men wounded, are the casualties of the regiment
in the last campaign; besides there is a large number of men
sick in many of the large hospitals. That terrible army disease,
scurvy, has made inroads upon us. This ever unchanging army ration
is too bad. In Virginia we got potatoes, dried fruit, etc. –
here in such diminutive quantities – I hope we will get some
little extras for the men during this month of rest, for we have
less than two hundred men fit for duty now."
War Letters of Major Fredrick C. Winkler, in 26th
Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers Home Page
For more, see This Week in Georgia Civil War History.
January / February / March / April / May / June / July / August / September / October / November / December
To the best of our knowledge, images on this site are either (1) in the public domain, or (2) qualify for educational Fair Use under federal copyright law, or (3) are used by permission.